One of the more confusing issues people often bring to a car accident attorney is the question of who exactly will be the defendant. This gets especially cloudy in situations involving no-fault insurance policies because there can be clauses that require people to file claims through their carriers. Several other scenarios can play out where it's not as simple as filing against the other driver. This article will take a look at the complexities of these issues and learn what a car accident lawyer might recommend.
Two scenarios might play out if your insurance policy has a no-fault structure. If there are no catastrophic injuries, it can be very challenging to avoid the no-fault process. This forces you to deal with your claim through your carrier, and then the two insurance companies that are party to the case have to reconcile their differences between themselves.
It's very different when catastrophic injuries are involved. Under such circumstances, you have the right to go after significantly more compensation. Likewise, you can sue the other driver and seek compensation from their carrier. The biggest fights in these kinds of cases focus on whether the victim's injuries are truly catastrophic.
Bear in mind some states require no-fault insurance. If an accident occurs in a fault state, though, that state's rules apply and the no-fault scenario is ignored.
This is the scenario where you file a claim against the other driver's insurance company. A claims adjuster is appointed to examine the claim, and they will submit a rejection of the claim or an offer for settlement. Your car accident lawyer is required by law to present you with all settlement offers. Negotiation is an option, and a lawsuit is also a possibility if negotiations fail or a rejection isn't overturned.
Sending a demand to a driver without insurance can be tough sledding. It's not uncommon for these cases to end up becoming lawsuits because many motorists don't have the money or legal knowledge required to settle a claim.
A Claim Against the Driver You Were With
Passengers can pursue claims against the drivers of cars they were in. This can occur in one-vehicle accidents, but it's also allowed when the passenger feels the driver they were riding with was the at-fault party.
Some claims can be filed against third parties that contributed to accidents. The most common version of this occurs when a victim sues a bar that served a visibly intoxicated person before an incident.
For more information on car accident settlements, work with a car accident lawyer in your area.